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Cinnamon Tea Can Help Protect From Alzheimer’s and Boost Immunity — Top Docs Tell How to Get These Perks + More

A cuppa as delicious as it is good for you!

Cinnamon is a key ingredient of many desserts and pastries, from apple pie to gingerbread. The spice’s sweet, citrusy taste isn’t just for baking. Take cinnamon tea for instance. Steeping a raw cinnamon stick or a bag of cinnamon tea in boiling water makes your home smell divine. And it can also be a boon for your health by reducing your risk of heart disease, lowering inflammation and helping you shed pounds. Here, we take a closer look at cinnamon tea benefits and explain how to reap the rewards in real-time.

What is cinnamon tea?

“Cinnamon tea is derived from the inner bark of the cinnamomum tree,” explains Cal Orey, author of the best-selling book, The Healing Powers of Tea: A Complete Guide to Nature’s Special Remedy. “The bark is ground into powdered cinnamon and can be used in making muffins, tea cakes and candy — or for a cup of hot brew.”

Cinnamon has been used for thousands of years in places like Egypt and Rome. It was considered a gift for royalty and used to treat various ailments, including digestive problems and respiratory diseases. Although there was no way to prove it at the time, these cultures were onto something! Modern science has identified various cinnamon tea benefits, especially when it comes to health.

Is there more than one type of cinnamon?

There are two main types of cinnamon, including:

Ceylon cinnamon

This type is native to Sri Lanka, an island off the coast of India. It’s lighter in color and has a delicate, sweet flavor. Generally speaking, ceylon cinnamon is more expensive and harder to find in stores.

Cassia cinnamon

This cinnamon is found in most groceries and spice shops. It’s cheaper than ceylon cinnamon and has a distinct, spicy flavor. Cassia cinnamon contains coumarin, a plant compound that’s toxic in high dosages. As a result, it should only be consumed in small quantities. (More on that below.) The majority of cinnamon research has been conducted with this type.

8 surprising cinnamon tea benefits

Melina B. Jampolis, MD, PNS, chief medical officer at Ahara and author of Spice Up Slim Down, says many of cinnamon tea’s benefits can be attributed to polyphenols — plant compounds she says have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Cinnamon tea is especially rich in proanthocyanidins, or PACs, a class of polyphenols thought to influence and improve health status. These PACS may support your well-being in several ways. Cinnamon tea benefits for your health include:

1. Improved heart health

stethoscope and red heart Heart Check.Concept healthcare.

Up to 60 million American women have some form of heart disease. Lifestyle changes, like eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and lowering stress can help keep your ticker healthy, but you may also want to start drinking the occasional cup of cinnamon tea. That’s because “cinnamon tea can help with blood pressure and cholesterol reduction,” says Carmelita Lombera, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist. Indeed, a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine found that consuming cinnamon significantly reduced levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides. Similarly, cinnamon seems to increase HDL, or “good,” cholesterol.

Cinnamon tea’s heart-healthy benefits extend beyond cholesterol to blood pressure. In a group of studies, researchers found that participants with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes who consumed 0.5 to 2.4 grams (that’s a bit more than half a teaspoon) of cinnamon per day reduced their systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

2. Increased immunity

During cold and flu season, getting vaccinated and practicing good hand hygiene are essential. But a regular cup of cinnamon tea may provide an extra line of defense. “Cinnamon essential oil contains phenols, compounds that act as powerful antioxidants,” Orey says. “They protect your body by trapping free radicals (molecules that damage cells). Phenols are also believed to stave off viruses and bacteria, which are responsible for ailments like colds and even cancer.”

Indeed, several studies have confirmed that cinnamon tea contains powerful antioxidants. Of 26 common spice extracts analyzed for medicinal purposes, cinnamon ranks in the top three for antioxidant activity. It also boosts total antioxidant capacity (TAC), an equation that measures how effectively the body defends against free radicals.

3. Reduced risk of chronic inflammation

Chronic inflammation is commonly associated with ailments like arthritis and diabetes. However, a growing body of evidence suggests inflammation may be the cause of chronic disease rather than a side effect. Here, too, cinnamon tea may prove beneficial.

One animal study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine assessed cinnamon tea’s ability to reduce inflammation. Researchers concluded that cinnamon had excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Likewise, a study published in the journal Food & Function determined that cinnamon and its components could be useful treating age-related inflammatory conditions.

4. Easier weight loss

The older you get, the more likely you are to have pesky body fat in areas like your abdomen, lower back (love handles) and thighs. Regular exercise and good nutrition can help you maintain a healthy weight, but cinnamon tea may complement those efforts.

Consider that a meta-analysis published in the journal Clinical Nutrition found that cinnamon supplementation (including with cinnamon tea) significantly affected obesity measures, leading researchers to conclude that cinnamon can be recommended as a weight-reducing supplement.

Another, published in the Journal of Food Biochemistry, found that cinnamon supplementation significantly reduced body mass index (BMI) and body weight.

Related: Does Turmeric Help You Lose Weight? Yes — And So Much More, Say Top Doctors

5. Enhanced brain health

Cinnamon Tea Benefits: Brain food/brain health

A review of scientific literature published in Pharmacological Research showed that cinnamon helps treat mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, Lombera says. “The polyphenols found in cinnamon inhibited tau protein aggregation and accumulation of amyloid peptides.” In less scientific terms, cinnamon tea seems to be effective at slowing and/or preventing Alzheimer’s diseases onset and/or progression. Adds Dr. Jampolis, “Animal studies suggest that cinnamon inhibits changes in the brain that lead to Alzheimer’s disease and may also correct cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease.”

6. Relief from PMS

Cinnamon tea benefits also include relief from PMS. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) lasts 5 to 10 days on average and sometimes longer. Its symptoms, such as menstrual cramps, brain fog and mood swings, can be debilitating, but cinnamon tea may offer some relief.

“Research shows that cinnamon tea may help lessen menstrual bleeding and cramps,” Orey says. “It works by helping reduce stress and inflammation, which can alleviate the pain of cramps and premenstrual syndrome.” Scientists have confirmed these benefits. One study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research found that cinnamon significantly reduced the pain and severity of menstruation almost as much as over-the-counter pain medication.

7. Balanced blood sugar

Drinking cinnamon tea may help keep your blood sugar within the healthy range. The reason? Cinnamon works similarly to insulin, the hormone that helps blood sugar enter your body’s cells.

This unique ability caused scientists to conclude that cinnamon could be a useful treatment for insulin resistance. “Studies have also shown that consuming cinnamon as part of a meal reduces blood glucose (sugar),” adds Dr. Jampolis. Specifically, “having cinnamon with a meal resulted in lower blood glucose levels in the hour after the meal.”

Cinnamon may also reduce hemoglobin A1C, a measure of long-term blood sugar control. In one study, participants who took cinnamon daily, either as a spice or tea, reduced their A1C levels while also decreasing their fasting blood sugar levels. These features make cinnamon tea “especially beneficial for those with diabetes and prediabetes, or women who carry extra weight around their midsection,” says Dr. Jampolis.

Related: Small Lifestyle Tweaks That Can Reverse Prediabetes In 12 Weeks + Power Off Pounds

8. Healthy, youthful-looking skin

Wrinkles, fine lines and crow’s-feet are a normal part of aging, but they can affect your confidence and self-esteem. Though wrinkle-fighting serums and ointments can help, so too can cinnamon tea. Of all the cinnamon tea benefits, this one may be the deciding factor for choosing to brew a cup today.

Although it might sound too good to be true, cinnamon extract has powerful anti-aging properties. Consider that a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that cinnamon increased collagen production — a protein that helps keep the skin smooth and supple. Another, published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, concluded that cosmetics containing cinnamon increased skin elasticity and hydration, promoting a more youthful appearance.

How much cinnamon tea should I drink to get the perks?

It can be difficult to determine the proper dosage of cinnamon tea because the amount of cinnamon varies greatly depending on “how long you steep the bag [or cinnamon sticks] and how much active cinnamon is consumed,” Dr. Jampolis explains. “For powdered cinnamon spice, no more than 1 teaspoon per day is recommended, as it contains a chemical that can cause liver damage, low blood sugar or breathing problems in excess. The amount of cinnamon in tea bags is unlikely to reach this threshold unless you have several cups per day.”

Lombera concurs and encourages anyone wanting to try cinnamon tea to “start small: Drink 1 cup of tea per day, never exceeding 1 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon.”

If you aren’t a big tea drinker, Dr. Jampolis says you can still reap cinnamon’s health properties by adding it to your food. “Cinnamon pairs great with fruits, yogurts, hot cereals and even savory foods, like sweet potatoes, curries and roasted meats.”

How to make cinnamon tea

Making cinnamon tea is easy. All you need is cinnamon sticks, cinnamon tea bags or loose-leaf cinnamon tea. “Adding powdered cinnamon to water is also an option,” Dr. Jampolis says. “But it doesn’t taste as good and may cause excess intake.” 

Loose-leaf cinnamon tea instructions

For loose-leaf cinnamon tea, bring 1 cup of water to a boil and pour it over 1 teaspoon of the loose-leaf tea. “Steep for 10 minutes and add honey or orange slices to taste.”

Cinnamon tea bag instructions

“Put 1 tea bag in a mug of your choice and pour 1 cup of hot water over it,” Orey says. “Steep for 2 to 3 minutes and add honey or orange slices to taste. Cinnamon tea is also found in black tea blends and chai,” she adds. So if you aren’t big on cinnamon flavor, you can still access some of its benefits with these other teas.

Cinnamon tea with cinnamon sticks instructions

For cinnamon tea made from cinnamon sticks, “boil 1 cup of water and pour it over 1 cinnamon stick. Then let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes,” Lombera says. “Cinnamon sticks have a richer flavor than tea bags or loose-leaf tea. You can enjoy the tea warm or iced, depending on your preference.”

Cinnamon teas to try

The experts we interviewed recommended several types of prepackaged cinnamon tea, including:

All of these brands have good reputations and use all-natural ingredients from trusted sources.

Something to keep in mind: “When shopping for cinnamon tea, make sure to look for additional ingredients,” Lombera says. “Many brands contain other plant compounds like black tea, which has caffeine.” Therefore, doing your research is essential, especially if you have food allergies, food sensitivities or take prescription medication that might cause negative interactions.

Who should avoid cinnamon tea?

Cinnamon tea is safe and presents few risks, but it isn’t for everyone. Lombera says you should talk with your doctor before drinking cinnamon tea if you have heart disease or diabetes. Dr. Jampolis agrees, noting that “if you take blood sugar-lowering medications, you need to be especially careful.” Your doctor or another qualified healthcare professional can make personalized supplement recommendations that align with your needs.

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.

For more on the benefits of tea, click below:

Spearmint Tea Blocks Facial Hair Growth in Women With PCOS — And It’s Just 16¢ a Cup

Does Green Tea Help With Bloating? Yes! Plus, It Speeds Weight Loss + Helps Blood Sugar

Hibiscus Tea Is the Belly-Flattening Brew That Protects Your Heart and Fends Off UTIs

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